Redesigning Teaching

Professionalism or Bureaucracy?

By William A. Firestone & Beth D. Bader

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, Teacher Preparation and Development
Paperback : 9780791411247, 275 pages, October 1992
Hardcover : 9780791411230, 275 pages, October 1992

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents



1. The Design of Teacher Reforms

2. Mossville: Bureaucratic Redesign

3. Hill City: A Mixed-Mode Reform

4. Academy: Professional Redesign

5. The Dynamics of Bureaucracy and Professionalism

6. The Politics of Redesign

7. Conclusion

Appendix A: Research Methods

Appendix B: Site Visit Guide

Appendix C: Academy Survey



Subject Index

Author Index


Redesigning Teaching provides concrete case studies of school districts implementing teacher reforms. The cases describe the changes, give the history and dynamics of each project, examine how teachers respond to new policies and procedures, and tell how state policy affects local efforts to change teaching. The book also suggests that while short-term improvements can be accomplished through bureaucracy, serious reform requires professionalization. The authors identify challenges that state governments, school administrators, and teachers' associations must face if they really want to professionalize teaching.

William A. Firestone is Professor of Education at Rutgers University's Graduate School of Education and is Senior Research Fellow at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education. His previous books include Great Expectations for Small Schools: The Limitations of Federal Projects; School Context and School Change; Change and Effectiveness in Schools: A Cultural Perspective; and Rethinking Effective Schools. Beth D. Bader is Research Associate with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at Rutgers University and Coordinator for the New Jersey Educational Policy Fellowship Program.


"The topic is absolutely central to the current debate of teacher professionalism and reform. The authors dig beneath the surface and provide insights and clarity about current reform attempts. " — Michael Fullan, University of Toronto

"The authors provide both a conceptual analysis of what is entailed by a professional and a bureaucratic view of teaching, and have case material which illustrates what actually happens when these differing approaches to teachers' work (or some mixture of these approaches) are tried out in school districts. We need more of this kind of conceptual work. " — Alan R. Tom, University of Arizona